8:38pm: According to Jeeho Yoo of Yonhap News, Reyes is set to make $950K in 2024. Yoo also notes that the Giants have re-signed former Twins left-hander Charlie Barnes to a one-year, $1.35MM contract. Barnes, 28, pitched 38 innings in the majors for Minnesota back in 2021 and posted a 3.28 ERA across 30 starts with Lotte this past season.
7:49pm: Former big league outfielder Victor Reyes has signed a deal with the Korea Baseball Organization’s Lotte Giants, per Jon Heyman of the New York Post. The terms of the deal are not currently known.
Reyes, 29, signed with the Braves out of Venezuela back in 2012. After three seasons with Atlanta, Reyes was swapped to the Diamondbacks in 2015 before getting selected as the first pick of the Rule 5 draft in 2017 by the Tigers. He made his big league debut in 2018 with 100 appearances largely as a bench bate and late-inning defensive replacement, sticking on the roster long enough to become a permanent member of the Tigers organization. Though Reyes never secured a full time role in Detroit, the switch hitter performed fairly well in a fourth outfield role, slashing .274/.306/.398 (91 wRC+) from 2019-22 while playing strong outfield defense and going 24-for-32 on the basepaths.
Reyes became a minor league free agent following the 2022 season and eventually joined the White Sox on a minor league deal. He performed well across 128 games at the Triple-A level, slashing .279/.330/.462 across 546 trips to the plate while clubbing 50 extra base hits including 20 home runs. While Reyes ultimately never made it into a big league game with Chicago last season, the improved power potential he flashed in the minors has seemingly earned him attention overseas, leading to this deal with the Giants.
Stateside players who haven’t managed to stick in the big leagues often head overseas in hopes of making their way back to the big leagues later on while making more than they would be able to on a typical minor league contract. Eric Thames and Darin Ruf are among the hitters who revitalized their big league careers with a sojourn to Korea, and most recently right-hander Erick Fedde won the KBO’s MVP award this past season and subsequently earned himself a two-year, $15MM guarantee with the White Sox earlier this winter. Reyes will surely hope to follow in the footsteps of those players as he continues his professional career on the other side of the world.